Larry Carlton – Christmas At My House (1989)

frontcover1Okay, let´s start the christmas time:

You can ask yourself three questions: how is it that a musical gem of Christmas joy such as Larry Carlton’s magnum opus for Advent through Three Kings Sunday has been kept so underground and so un-heralded for so long? How long has it been since you have experienced a touch of peace and healing, and wonder in the presence of Christmas music? How can pop princesses and boy wonders have a featured Christmas CD or iTunes year after year, with crafted production value and all the soul of Wal-Mart? “Seasonal music” on commercial radio, streaming channels, cable, etc. provide a vapid stream of wannabe hits, ancient hits, and stuff that we’re supposed to like based on the sheer gravity of a pre-Christmas void of meaning, afraid of controversy and alienation of potential shoppers; as such, it has become background music in the house, the car, the bus, the malls. The programmers who make slight adjustments to the playlist/algorithm have attempted to create a vague connection between the act of listening and our individual experience of a divine moment. They have missed Larry Carlton. In my house, it is different. I search for music to connect my faith, family, past, and future, and my celebration of Christmas. I found this in Larry & his friends’ interpretations and explorations of classics, plus one original, featuring Larry’s articulate and expressive guitar work and Michele Pillar (his wife) on vocals in key moments on a mostly instrumental album. In this collaboration there is deep love of the birth of Jesus, and the Christmas season. This music is magic. I listen straight through, but always pause at “The Holly and the Ivy” to get lost in it entirely. Few of us can participate in the creative process that is jazz, especially jazz with friends and family, but we have this magic preserved in this CD. I’ve owned one since 1995, but loaned it to someone last year (can’t remember who), and just decided to buy another on Amazon rather than put out a broadcast e-mail which will both embarrass a friend and myself. So, whoever has my old one, Merry Christmas.. enjoy, and you’re welcome! Larry, and Christmas, is back in my house.(by Mark Meyering)


Larry Carlton (guitar, bass on 06.)
John Ferraro (drums)
Clare Fischer (keyboards)
Abraham Laboriel (bass)
Terry Trotter (keyboards)
Robbie Buchanan (keyboards on 06.)
Michael Fisher (percussion on 02. – 04., 11.)
Michele Pillar (vocals on 03., 06. + 11.)
Jeff Porcaro (drums on 03, 10. + 11.)
Kirk Whalum (saxophone on 11.)
background vocals:
Christopher Cross – David Pack – Karen Blake – Michele Pillar


01. The Christmas Song (Torme) 4.30
02. Winter Wonderland (Bernard) 5.10
03. Silent Night / It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Gruber/Willis) 4.20
04. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.20
05. The Holly And The Ivy (Traditional) 3.10
06. Ringing The Bells Of Christmas (Foster/Labounty/Carlton/Pillar) 4.30
07. What Child Is This (Traditional) 6.20
08. The Little Drummer Boy (Onorati) 5.40
09. Joy To The World (Haweis) 1.06
10. My Favorite Things / We Three Kings Of Orient Are (Hopkins/Rodgers/Hammerstein) 9.57
11. The Christmas Song (Torme/Wells) 4.10



Herbert von Karajan – Christmas Adagio (1977)

KarajanChristmasAdagioFCThis is a christmas compilation of maestro Herbert von Karajan recorded betwenn the years 1968 – 1977.
Enjoy these wonderful compositions from the baroque era of classic music.You don´t have to believe in God to feel the spiritual dimensions of this music.

Berliner Symphony Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan

KarajanChristmas Adagio-back

Guiseppe Torrelli: Christmas concerto op. 8 no. 6 (9.17)
01. Grave – Vivace 3.47
02. Laego 3.40
03. Vivace 1.50

Ottorino Respighi:
04. Siciliana (from Ancient airs and dances for lute) 3.39

Francesco Manfredini: Christmas Concerto op.3 No. 12 (10.57)
05. Pastorale (Largo) 5.01
06. Largo 2.58
07. Allegro 2.58

Georg Friedrich Haendel:
08. Musette (from Concerto grosso op. 6 no. 6) 7.36

Pietro Locatelli: Concerto grosso op. 1 no. 8 (19.44)
09. Largo – Grave 3.44
10. Vivace 1.32
11. Grave 2.09
12. Largo Andante 5.14
13. Andante 2.23
14. Pastoral – Andante 4.42

Arcangello Corelli: Christmas concerto op 8. no. 8 (16.44)
15. Vivace – Grave – Allegro 4.32
16. Adagio – Allegro – Adagio 3.49
17. Vivace 1.26
18. Allegro 1.53
19. Pastorale (Largo) 5.04

Franz Xaver Gruber:
20. Silent Night 2.57


Louis Armstrong & Friends – What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

FrontCover1Although this Christmas compilation is credited to “Louis Armstrong & Friends,” it’s really more aptly categorized as a various artists anthology, since Armstrong only has six of the fourteen tracks. The disc is filled out with seasonal offerings by Dinah Washington, Mel Torme, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, mostly from the 1950s. It’s pleasant pop-jazz that doesn’t rate among the highlights of any of these talented artists’ careers. But it makes for an above-average Christmas disc, especially on Lionel Hampton’s “Merry Christmas, Baby,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” and Louis Jordan’s “May Everyday Be Christmas,” which celebrate the holiday with more gutsy hipness than the usual Yuletide fare. (by Richie Unterberger)


01. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas In New Orleans (Sherman(/v.Winkle) 2.54
02. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.39
03. Dinah Washington: Silent Night (Gruber/More) 2.23
04. Mel Torme: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 3.07
05. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas Time In Harlem (Scott/Paris) 2.39
06. Peggy Lee: It´s Christmas Time Again (Burke/Elliott/Harwood) 3.00
07. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: Cool Yule (Allen) 2.55
08. Lionel Hampton: Merry Christmas, Baby (Moore/Baxter) 3.22
09. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? (Fox) 2.40
10. Eartha Kitt/Henri Rene Orchestra: Santa Baby (P.Springer/T.Springer/Javils) 3.26
11. Duke Ellington: JIngle Bells (Pierpont) 3.00
12. Lena Horne: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.43
13. Louis Jordan: May Everyday Be Christmas (Jordan) 3.11
14. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 3.00


Raymond Lefevre – Merry Christmas (1968)

LefevreChristmasFCOkay, christmas is coming soon … And so I´ll continue with my Christmas special series .
This time I will offer sentimental versions of Christmas classics by the french mastermind of easy listening music, Raymond LeFevre.Raymond Lefèvre (born November 20, 1929 in Calais, France), true name Raymond Lefèbvre is a French easy listening orchestra leader, arranger and composer. He is best known for his 1968 theme Soul Coaxin’ (Ame Caline), which became an international hit. He also wrote soundtracks for movies with Louis de Funès like La Soupe Aux Choux (1981) or the series of legendary Le Gendarme De Saint Tropez. During late 1950s and early ’60s he accompanied Dalida on most of her recordings (Bambino, Por Favor, Tu Peux Tout Faire de Moi, Quand on N’A Que l’Amour).

Merry Christmas is a beautiful selection of festive standards, arranged in the typical style of Raymond Lefevre and played with skill by the orchestra.


Raymond LeFevre Orchestra

01. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 2.16
02. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.14
03. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.25
04. Litte Father Christmas (Martinet/Ovanessian) 2.45
05. Oh Tannenbaum (Traditional) 1.57
06. Angels We Have Heard On High (Traditional) 2.21
07. Silent Night (Gruber) 3.03
08. O Holy Night (Adam) 4.15
09. He Is Born The Child Of God (Traditional) 2.40
10. Three Angles Came That Night (Traditional) 2.52
11. O Come All Ye Faithful (Reading) 2.46


Christmas Special: The Chase Orpheus Male Voice Choir – God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (1978)

FrontCover1This is a very rare christmas album from good ol´ England.

Some informations about this unique Chase Orpheus Male Voice Choir:

Founded in the early 50´s by their conductor and mentor Howard Benton, it was at the time largely a choir of miners and indeed one of their early BBC broadcasts was made from the depths of the West Cannock Colliery. Since those early days, the membership of the choir has broadened, although the majority of the singers remain closely involved with the affairs of that great powerhouse of industry, known throughout the world as the Black Country.

Youn hear traditional christmas songs, mostly from England  … this is a very traditional and a very british christmas album … enjoy it

The Chase Orpheus Male Voice Choir conducted by Howard Benton
Roy Massey (organ)
John Oxley (solist)

01. The First Nowell (Traditional) 3.36
02. Deck The Halls (Traditional) 2.00
03. Sweet Bells (Whitehouse) 4.38
04. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 3.45
05. Joy The The World (Händel) 2.16
06. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (Traditional) 2.45
07. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Traditional) 2.46
08. Christians Awake (Traditional) 3.12
09. Hark The Glad Sound (Traditional)
10. Softly Is The Night Sleeping (Traditional) 3.29
11. Mary´s Boy Child (Hairstorn) 4.13
12. The Star Of Bethlehem (Adams) 6.23
13. O Come, All Ye Faithfull (Wade) 2.39


Lynyrd Skynyrd – Christmas Time Again (2000)

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgain FCIt’s a long way from Jacksonville, Florida, to the North Pole, but first generation Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd put antifreeze in the old touring van and set a course for Santa’s workshop with this seasonal outing. The band, which now consists of three founders and a handful of later recruits, mix Yule warhorses (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Greensleeves”) and more recent fare (“Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’,” “Run Run Rudolph,” Eddie C. Campbell´s customized-for-Christmas take on “Messin’ with the Kid”) with a smattering of originals. Guests Charlie Daniels and 38 Special check in with one song apiece, giving the whole project a kind of TV variety-show feel–that is, if you can picture a bearded Perry Como with a stack of Marshall amps at his back. (by Steven Stolder)

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgain CoverIllustrationPersonnel:
Kenny Aronoff (drums)
Rick Medlocke (guitar, vocals)
Billy Powell (keyboards)
Gary Rossington (guitar)
Dale Krantz-Rossington (vocals)
Hughie Thompson (guitar, background vocals)
Leon Wilkeson (bass)
Johnny van Zant (vocals)
Carol Chase (background vocals)
Charlie Daniels (fiddle, vocals on 05.)
38 Special (on 10.)

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgainPromoSingleFCPromo single frontcover

01. Santa´s Messin´ With The Kid (Campbell) 3.15
02. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.31
03. Christmas Time Again (Medlocke/Rossington/Rossington/Thomasson/v.Zant) 4.34
04. Greensleeves (Traditional) 2.18
05. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 3.08
06. Run Run Rudolph (Bridue/Marks/Medlocke) 3.34
07. Classical Christmas (Medlocke/Rossington/Rossington/Thomasson/v.Zant) 2.09
08. Hallelujah, It´s Christmas (Barnes/Chauncey/v.Zant) 4.01
09. Skynyrd Family (Medlocke/Rossingtgon/Thomasson/v.Zant) 3.00

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgain CD*